Its increased by 15 per cent since 2016/17, and 40 per cent over the last five years and the finger is pointed at keyless entry systems.
Tracker is warning motorists to increase their level of car security as 80% of all vehicles stolen and recovered by Tracker in 2017 were stolen without using the owner’s keys.
“We are seeing more and more keyless car theft taking place across the country,” explains Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker. “It’s fair to say that criminals continue to stay one step ahead of manufacturers and ‘relay attack’ is one method car thieves have increasingly adopted.
“This involves two criminals working together using an electronic signal relay to intercept a key fob signal usually from within the victim’s home. Cars are being stolen and driven off within seconds. It’s clear that people are unintentionally leaving themselves vulnerable to these kinds of attack, by putting their keys in easy reach of relay devices.”
A spokesman from the Association of British Insurers said that criminals are exploiting the vulnerabilities of the entry system by using pairs of radio transmitters to capture the signal from the vehicle’s fob, among other methods.
They urge motorists to put keys in metal boxes or their microwave and also fit wheel or steering locks as well as a tracker device to frustrate thieves as much as possible and make them go elsewhere.